Quick guide: How the French presidential election works

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Pollsters are not allowed to publish election-day surveys in France before voting closes. The leak began just before the blackout descended at midnight, in theatrical timing befitting the dramatic campaign.

"Clearly, the documents arising from the hacking are all lawful and show the normal functioning of a presidential campaign", aides said in a statement.

The commission, which supervises the electoral process, said after a hastily called meeting on Saturday the data been fraudulently obtained and could be mixed with false information.

France's election authority said publishing the documents could be a criminal offence, a warning heeded by traditional media organisations but flouted by Macron's opponents and far-right activists online.

The perpetrators remain unknown.

It was not clear who was behind the document dump, but the hack targeting Macron's campaign used methods similar to the suspected Russian hacks of the Democratic National Committee a year ago in United States, according to a report issued in April by cybersecurity researchers.

"Even if we don't reach our goal ... there is a enormous political force that is born': Le Pen".

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen, who lost on Sunday, is famed for her hardline anti-immigration views and opposition to the European Union.

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Voting also took place elsewhere in Canada, including the French Embassy in Ottawa.

As voters in France and its overseas territories cast their vote for the presidential election in the country, the contest between candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron seems to grow tenser, with the last campaign marked with unprecedented unpredictability.

Lassance, who moved to Los Angeles six years ago to work in animation and digital effects, said that if as many people in France abstained from voting as in the US (turnout in the first round of the 2012 election was more than 80% in France), Le Pen would have a chance at winning.

Meanwhile, Mr Macron's campaign press office said the courtyard outside the Louvre museum where he has planned to celebrate election night has been evacuated because of a security alert. It recalled similar leaks from Hillary Clinton's US presidential campaign.

Pen said that she has called Macron to congratulate him. The Le Pen campaign said administrators in several regions who receive ballot papers for both candidates have found the Le Pen ballots "systematically torn up".

Close to 60% of those who plan to vote for Macron say they will do so to stop Le Pen from being elected to lead the euro zone's second-largest economy, rather than because they fully support the former banker turned politician. She has also received campaign funding from a Russian bank.

Le Pen has also expressed a desire to roll back European Union sanctions levied on Russian Federation in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea, which she has described as "unfair and silly".

The Belgian public broadcaster RTBF said the surveys put Macron's share of the vote at between 62 and 67 percent. They fear her party's racist past, while worrying that his platform would demolish job protections for workers or be too much like his mentor, the deeply unpopular outgoing President Francois Hollande.